Sunday, June 05, 2011

You spend more than twenty years raising a kid, and it comes down to this - a photo of him with his feet propped up on a desk at the Army recruiter's office. It was taken just about two hours ago.

He's gone. I won't be able to process all this for awhile. It's a major step in his life, and it's no less in ours.

Jordan is on his way to Fort Benning, Georgia, where he's to receive basic training and advanced individual training as an infantryman. His ultimate goal is to be in federal law enforcement, so this is a stepping stone toward it. After a year in the infantry, he can move to military police.

As a parent, I'm both proud of my son and worried for him. Ambivalence seems to be my fate. He has some fine qualities and some maddening ones, but on the whole, Jordan is a good kid. As one of my friends put it, "We realize sometime when they're teenagers that we're just along for the ride." That is so right. We've either instilled good values in them or we haven't and by the late teens there's no going back.

I've already started writing letters to him. We won't hear anything from him for a few days, but once I have his APO address, I'll write often.


Blogger The Donut Guy said...

Well....when you write to him next time- I want to thank him for stepping up to the plate to serve his country.

My best friend in high school was pretty aimless in life until he joined the Marines.

I didn't see him for a year, but the next time we caught up...he was a completely different person-he was totally focused. He used his 6 years in the service to learn a trade (he was an mechanic)...when he got out, he went back to school to get a degree in business management.

Afterwards, he bought a self storage business and spent the last 20 years building it up.

He recently sold it and is retired.....him and I are the same age and I gotta work for 15 more years until I get to retire :-(

2:03 PM  
Blogger Steve A said...

Give him a small camera.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

He has a small Canon point and shoot, Steve, but he's not permitted anything like that for at least a few weeks. He took his phone along, though. He'll be able to use it in about 3 weeks.

Sgt. Patton said there's a photographer who gets each group as it progresses through training, and there's even a DVD of their graduation. I'll probably buy the package because it's impossible for Mary to travel that far and I won't leave her here alone.

7:15 PM  

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